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27th January 2014

SIBA invests in BeerX 2014

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) is ramping up support for the BeerX Festival of Beer ahead of its start on 12th March in Sheffield.  National, regional and local advertising, posters and beer mats in local pubs and, for the first time, a Routemaster bus, will ensure that this unique event draws a crowd of beer lovers from Sheffield and further afield. 

SIBA is investing around £25,000 in promoting the Festival of Beer, which will showcase close to 300 award-winning beers over four days. Advertisements will appear in national and regional CAMRA publications, as well as Sheffield newspapers and magazines and on poster advertising sites around the city and on lampposts outside the train station.

Local pubs are also being encouraged to promote the Festival of Beer. SIBA has distributed 45,000 beer mats to pubs, as well as downloadable posters, and is expecting a number of pubs to organise group outings to the event, as they did last year. 

The restored Routemaster bus is a new addition to the BeerX campaign, operated in conjunction with iconic Sheffield brewer Kelham Island, whose Fat Cat pub is one of the drop off points in the city centre. Travel from there and other points to the BeerX venue, iceSheffield, is free, though SIBA is encouraging a donation of 20p per journey to go to St Luke’s, a Sheffield-based charity caring for adults of all ages with life-limiting illnesses.

The BeerX Festival of Beer was held for the first time last year. It is the biggest beer festival to offer drinkers a choice of cask, keg and bottled beers from across the country. Close to 300 beers, all of them winners of SIBA regional beer competitions, will be offered to the hundreds of beer lovers expected to attend.

SIBA chief executive Julian Grocock said, “This is a strong marketing campaign for the BeerX Festival of Beer and we’re confident that anyone who lives within striking distance of Sheffield, as well as beer aficionados from further afield, will know all about the event well ahead of time.

“The growing consumer interest in craft beers and enthusiasm to try new styles, regardless of whether they are in cask, keg or bottle, provides a ready market for the event and we look forward to welcoming seasoned festival visitors as well as novice drinkers to iceSheffield in March.”


The Festival of Beer opens on Wednesday 12th March, when the winners of SIBA’s National Beer Competition are unveiled, and closes at 11.00 pm on Saturday 15th. BeerX starts on Tuesday 11th with the judging of the finalist beers, continues with the SIBA AGM on Wednesday 12th, Industry Day with high-profile speakers from pub retailing, brewing and politics on Thursday 13th and a series of seminars on Friday 14th, including sessions on export held in conjunction with UKTI. 

For more information and to buy tickets for BeerX, visit and follow links.

Caption to attached image (l-r): SIBA national manager Charlie Gorham; membership co-ordinator Lisa Hall; events co-ordinator Siobhan McGonigle and commercial assistant Jenna Barningham 


Tuesday 11 March:JUDGING DAY

  • Final judging of all SIBA National Beer Competitions: Cask, Bottled and Craft Beer in Keg

Wednesday 12 March:SIBA AGM AND MEMBERS’ DAY

  • SIBA AGM and briefings from SIBA executive
  • Seminars for SIBA members
  • Chairman’s reception
  • Opening of BeerX Festival of Beer to public (evening)
  • Announcement of SIBA’s National Beer Competition winners by BBC food and drink presenter Nigel Barden

Thursday 13 March:INDUSTRY DAY

  • Key speakers
  • Meet the Brewer event
  • Presentation of the SIBA Business Awards and SIBA Lifetime Achievement Awards
  • Festival of Beer open to public (evening only)


  • Business development seminars for SIBA brewers
  • Meet the Buyer event: buyers from a number of export markets
  • Festival of Beer open to public from 12 noon to 11.00 pm


Saturday 15 March:  FESTIVAL OF BEER           

  • Festival of Beer open to public from 12 noon to 11.00 pm, Rugby Six Nations screened in afternoon


Issued on behalf of:                Society of Independent Brewers

By:                                           ShielPorter Communications

For information:                      Ros Shiel, 07841 694137 /